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How To Be A Lovely Woman

She has such elegant, effortless posture, I imagine her as a little girl being taught to sit and walk with a book on her head. She smiles and speaks gently, kindly, to everyone she meets. You can depend on her to be punctual, careful, trustworthy. She is a lovely woman.

But her loveliness is not in her elegance. It is that she takes care of herself by holding her body safely, comfortably. Another woman with a sore back or troubled legs will stand differently (or perhaps even be wheelchair-bound) and still be lovely because her self-esteem, and concern for her well-being, resides above society's judgment.

Her loveliness is not about make-up, being a particular size, or wearing certain clothes. It is self-kindness and reverence for the resource a woman has been given to experience this life: her body, with all its unique beauty and tender needs.

Neither is her loveliness in her voice. She might be gruff-toned, a whisperer, or even mute, and still prove lovely. It is in her kindness towards others, her consideration, and her sincere recollection that they are people with fragilities, wonderments, fears, dreams, just like her. She uses manners as an outward expression of inward grace. She does not unfairly judge others, but is sympathetic and compassionate (although sometimes she might have to remind herself to be, since loveliness doesn't automatically mean perfection).

Nor is her loveliness in her nice etiquette. It is in her character, that she will not unthinkingly let herself or you down, and that she will be responsible out of consideration rather than a set of rules.

The lovely woman, or the woman striving for loveliness, values it not because of some social ideal or etiquette goal, but because she believes it is the best way to be, and she respects herself enough to want to be the best she can be - and she respects other people enough to treat them the same.

Being a lovely woman is quite simple. Be a loving woman, that's all. Loveliness in its countless forms will flow naturally from that.

art by henry ryland


  1. this is basically a portrait of the woman i have always aspired to be.

    1. :-)

      me too ... still aspiring, but maybe one day I'll get there.

      thank you for your comments, by the way, it is so kind of you to leave a word after visiting, it always makes me smile.


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